Website owner:  James Miller

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Finding the right priorities and values in this life

   Develop the following theme:  The only really important kind of 
   knowledge is knowledge of how to live.  The only really 
   important knowledge is knowledge of how to be happy and at ease 
   with yourself, with God, and with the people around you. 

    Develop the habit of questioning the value and worth of 
      everything.  Look for all the debris and clutter in your 
      values.  Find the things that are truly important and give 
      them the attention they deserve.  Identify the clutter and 
      put it into its proper perspective.  Give it the weight it 
      merits.  Dump it. 

    Which subjects in school (outside of the Reading, Writing and 
      Arithmetic of your first few years of school) have really 
      been of great benefit to you?  How many have you put to use 
      in the last week?  the last year?  Get the knowledge 
      obtained in school in its proper perspective.  Appreciate 
      its lack of importance. 

    How much knowledge is really of great importance to you except 
      that specific knowledge which you specifically require in 
      order to perform the job or occupation that you have chosen 
      for yourself?  And how much of that did you learn in school?  
      As for the rest of the vast stores of the world's knowledge 
      you can well afford to just let the mathematician worry 
      about mathematics, the biologist worry about biology and the 
      lawyer worry about law.  The only really practical use of 
      specific knowledge is to help one perform in one's life 
      work.  The knowledge that the average, non-professional 
      person needs is little more than the basics of Reading, 
      Writing and Arithmetic.  So don't let it bother you if you 
      did poorly in school.  You haven't lost that much.  It is 
      not all that important anyway. 

    Remember that this modern society is Education Crazy, 
      Knowledge Crazy, Success Crazy, Status Crazy.  They have 
      blown these things all out of their true importance and 
      place.  Remember also that it is an unhappy, confused and 
      sick society (as proven by the statistics on divorce, 
      alcoholism, drugs, crime, suicide, etc.) 

    Remember that all most people ever remember anyway of the 
      subjects they studied in school is a very vague outline of 
      them (which could probably be put in a very few sentences) 
      if they remember anything at all. 

    Cut down on what you want or expect from life.  The happiest 
      man is the one who is happy with very little.  Ask yourself 
      what the real essentials are in life.  What is really 
      necessary anyway?  The secret to happiness is cutting down 
      on wants, desires and expectations.  Find the minimum.  
      Decide to be content with that.  Realize that the important 
      things are things like happiness and contentment with 
      yourself, happiness in your home, etc.. 

    Question the value of "success".  What does success mean to 
      you?  Social status?  Respect?  Position?  Education?  Fame?  
      Money?  A life of luxury?  Know that most "successful" 
      people are not happy.  They lead lives beset by pressures, 
      demands, problems, confusion, frustration and unhappiness.  
      People pursue "success" automatically because that is what 
      they have been taught to do;  they keep pursuing that pot of 
      gold at the end of the rainbow, but somehow it is a very 
      illusive prize.  Somehow it is never what they had dreamed 
      it to be.  Somehow it is always a mirage, an illusion.  They 
      finally, after years of effort and struggle, get there and 
      find it is not what they thought at all.  Why?  Because what 
      they are really looking for, although they don't clearly 
      realize it, is happiness.  And happiness comes from needing 
      little, not much;  from wanting and expecting little, not 

      Oct 1977

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